On October 13th, 1835, Adolphus Sterne, a New Orleans businessman that backed the Texian cause, financed the formation of two companies of volunteers for service in Texas. The first company was of 54 men commanded by Thomas H. Breece, while the second company was of 68 men under Robert C. Morris. Elements of the Greys would fight at the Siege of Bexar, the Alamo, Coleto Creek, and San Jacinto. Around twenty-four New Orleans Greys would fall at the Alamo. Most were in a company initially commanded by Captain John J. Baugh, until Baugh was made the garrison adjutant when the company was given to recently promoted Captain William Blazeby.
The officers sword does not appear to have molded properly, but conveniently the USN in the 1830’s had ‘boarding swords’ that were shorter than standard officer’s swords and maybe this chap has obtained one.
I gave some figures trousers that were other than gray to show the result of months of hard campaigning.
The Blue Moon set consists of 15 figures: 1 officer, 1 bugler, 1 NCO, and 12 soldiers. Two sets will be enough to use for the Greys left at the Alamo. I painted the figures following the plate in Marshall’s “Uniforms of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution”. My only change was to give the figures black collars and shoulder straps instead of the laced versions in the plate.
To complete my Alamo garrison I need a few command figures, so today I’ll have a look at Blue Moon Manufacturing set 15TRT-100 Texian Command. This set consists of 14 figures: Ten officers, 2 buglers, and 2 drummers. Except for the buglers, all the figures are unique sculpts. Two officers have flintlock pistols, one officer has a Kentucky rifle, and seven have muskets. The two drummers are unarmed while the buglers have muskets. For the most part all of the figures have the usual mix of typical 1830’s civilian attire: roundabouts, frock coats, drop-front trousers, slouch hats, and hunting caps. All these are appropriate since the bulk of volunteers were not uniformed.
This morning I have another set of Blue Moon Texian figures to review; pack 15TRT-109 ;Tennesseans’, As with most Blue Moon 15/18MM packs there are 30 figures in the set, and in this case, all poses are unique. All the figures are dressed in hunting frocks and have varying headgear ( slouch hats, top hats, coonskin caps, etc.) and varying equipment. In the case of armament, nearly all carry the popular Kentucky/Pennsylvania rifle, though one man wields only a flintlock pistol and Bowie knife. As usual with Blue Moon, this is a most attractive set of figures in such a small size. Not only can these men make up your companies of Tennessee volunteers, they can pretty much represent any volunteers that happened to wear the hunting frock and carry the long rifle, which would likely have been a large proportion of men coming in from the southern United States. Another nice thing about the Tennesseans, is that they can represent American frontiersmen from the late 18th through the mid 19th centuries. Anyone wanting to game trappers and mountain men have 30 figures from which to choose their characters.
Prior to painting a did a little research on the hunting frocks to help me select colors. I learned that that frocks were made from various materials including deerskin, linen, and ‘linsey-woolsey’ (a fabric made from a linen or cotton warp and a woolen weft). Frocks of these materials were often left naturally colored, but could also be dyed homespun-fashion with various vegetable dyes. These dyes are as follows:
White walnut bark = light brown
Black walnut hulls = dark brown to almost black
Sumac bark = dark blue
Black sumac bark = purple
Black oak balls and Indian paint root = red
It also should be noted that linen was fairly simple to bleach using animal urine so white frocks are also possible.
Another possibility, that I myself have not tried yet, is to paint colorful patterns on a few men to represent Indian bead-work.